Publications
Quiet City: A Reverie for New York in the Time of Covid-19 Print E-mail
Essays and Memoirs

Screenshot48

(The Sembrich Online, September 11, 2020)

The gestation of Aaron Copland’s Quiet City was anything but quiet. In 1939, novelist Irwin Shaw—later praised for the TV serial, Rich Man, Poor Man—wrote a play with the same title. It was workshopped by Elia Kazan and the Group Theater, a communal ensemble from which the Actor’s Studio later took wing. The “experimental drama” follows a once-idealistic young man who leaves Judaism, changes his name, marries a socialite, and achieves wealth running a department store. His materialist dream, however, leaves him morally empty.

Read more...
 
Here's That Rainy Day: Hard Times for San Diego County Cities Print E-mail
San Diego Reader

20200806(San Diego Reader August 6, 2020)

San Marcos City Manager Jack Griffin begins his annual June letter to the mayor and city council, “It is kind of my pleasure to submit the Fiscal Year 2020-2021 Operations and Maintenance Budget.” That “kind of” summarizes the sour monetary mood facing San Diego’s 17 county cities and their managers in the new pandemic normal. The economic pain of dwindling revenue varies by city and its relative affluence, but the losses are universal. Since March, taxes on hotels, entertainment, bars and restaurants, even car sales and pot shops, typically about a third of a city’s spending base, have fallen—and, as people remain largely at home, will continue to fall.

As a result, most previously funded departments and staff, though spared, are being pared: social services snipped, capital projects deferred, full- and part-time workers furloughed or laid off, new hires frozen, libraries closed, recreation programs reduced, street repairs delayed, and parks dark. No municipality can cut salaries and benefits for firefighters and police; cities are contractually bound.

Read more...
 
To Play With Reptiles All Day Print E-mail
San Diego Reader

20200729(San Diego Reader July 29, 2020)

To hold a small Anaconda, it’s best to spread your hands out like spatulas and let the snake lie there, feeling supported. If the serpent doesn’t feel buoyed in your hands, it will squirm and droop like it’s upside down, which, from its spatial orientation, it is. The snake has a belly—the lighter colored half underneath—and the belly wants to be down, if not on the ground, then grounded. Otherwise, it curls and twists, not because it has it in for you (revenge!) but because the creature is trying to get away, that is, out of midair and back to the security of its burrow or enclosure. Once you brace the writhing beast from below, snake and handler calm down—find, as it were, common ground.

Read more...
 
Masking the Unmasked: A Modest Proposal Print E-mail
Articles

image(Times of San Diego June 28, 2020)

Has it really come to this?

The “Freedom to Breathe Agency” is issuing “face mask exemption” cards, which state that the bearer is not required to wear a mask as it’s a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Of course, ADA officials have granted no such exemption. Such is just one of countless desperate idiocies in which half of Americans won’t wear masks, believing the requirement treads on their individual rights.

OK, the unmasked have individual rights. What’s that got to do with a pandemic, which is, end of June, becoming tsunamic with more than 45,000 new cases each day, the majority now among the young?

Read more...
 
The Mytheme of Male Desire Print E-mail
Essays and Memoirs

waterhousenymphsfindingorpheus

(After the Art June 18, 2020)

“I therefore claim to show, not how men think in myths, but how myths operate in men’s minds without their being aware of the fact.”

The Raw and the Cooked, Claude Lévi-Strauss

The greatest stories of mythic love are those most encumbered by ecstatic subjugation. Among them are the romance legends of Tristan and Isolde, Lancelot and Guinevere, and Orpheus and Eurydice. Of Orpheus’s tragic loss and demise, the tale tells of a man’s love for a woman, read princess wife queen Eros, a love so consuming that at her death he descends into Hades to bring her back. His act may grant her a second life or, after a brief flawed reunion, a second and final death. Set aside the male as hero or victim. His outcome matters less than the spell men believe they wield over women who must, to live, desire the salvific power of his love.

Read more...
 
Bunker Baby Brandishes Bible Print E-mail
Articles

TrumpHoldingBible(Written June 2, 2020)

Wait a minute. What is this thing?

Ivanka has just given Barbie, my new press lady, this thing to give to me and said I should stand here and hold it up for camera guy in front of the, what is this, in front of God’s house.

I said it feels like one those classy 365-day calendars, leather-bound edition. Then someone said, no, sir, it’s a book. Of course. I know that. It’s The Art of the Deal.

Read more...
 
We Need to Protect Against Covid-19 As If It Were (Far Worse Than) Gun Violence Print E-mail
Articles

cov gun(Times of San Diego May 2, 2020)

When citizen caravans storm state capitols with parades of motorized force and mask-free rallies, asserting the people’s right to assemble, I don’t reach for my gun. I don’t keep a gun; I’m too afraid it’ll go off. Instead, I reach for my pen—it’s much mightier and safer, history tells me, in times of civil unrest. Such parades to reopen “our country,” Trump-code for his country (bikers, truckers, corporate execs, and the one percent), are an odd sight: A freely assembled protest to agitate for free assembly is a contradiction; besides, few have been cited or arrested for violating stay-at-home orders.

Read more...
 
<< Start < Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Next > End >>

Page 4 of 49